Conrad Egyir was born and raised in Ghana and is heavily influenced by a rich art form of storytelling in West Africa; his creative practice borrows from a pool of uniquely coded text and the visually based language systems of his roots. The artist explores the relationship between his past experiences in Africa and his present home in the United States, drawn to themes that define the then and now, disparities and similarities, and the image and the self. He analyzes the connections between the semiotics and historicity of these themes which lie within his African postcolonial upbringing and higher education in the West. Egyir also draws inspiration from William Blake and William Kentridge, in particular their dramatic use of figuration and poetry that captures the existential nature of their subjects. In lieu of architectural backdrops in his work, text serves as annunciations or manifestos in the making of a new people and a new abstract country. This is accompanied by a redefined frame and form of the paintings that appear as stamps, postcards, memorabilia or memoirs of a new people.
“We are ‘Amantramanmienu’, I told them. Amantramanmienu is a royal title from the Ashanti Kingdom in Ghana which means ‘He (or they) that bestride two worlds’.”
— Conrad Egyir